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The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office retired one of its canine officers Monday and the board of commissioners gave ownership of Torro to his handler, Lieutenant Steven Casey.

“You always hate for a canine to retire,” Chief Deputy Scott Hall said. “They are deputies. I’m happy for Lieutenant Casey and a job well done. They were a great team together.”

Hall said the possibility of getting a new dog for the office is a topic which will be discussed in the future.

The dog’s retirement came upon the recommendation of Dr. Cynthia L. Elias of Creekside Animal Hospital, which cared for Torro.

Elias said in a letter to Sheriff Wes Tripp that Creekside has been providing veterinary care since March of 2015 after he became a member of the sheriff’s office and completed his training.

“He has been a very fit working canine in good health for many years,” Elias said in the letter.

He began having health issues in May of last year, developing joint pain, elevated liver enzyme issues and was found to have hypothyroid issues. “He began having decreased appetite and decreased energy levels in August of 2020,” the letter said. “His thyroid levels at this time are fluctuating and staying low despite being on medication.”

Torro has also been experiencing “extreme exercise intolerance after working for only short periods of time.”

Elias noted, however, the respect she and her staff at Creekside have had for Torro and Casey. “ … I am extremely honored to have been able to care for this amazing member of the Halifax County Sheriff’s (Office) for the past six years. He has been a joy to work with and I, along with my entire staff at Creekside Animal Hospital have the utmost respect for the years of dedicated service he has provided for Halifax County. I also appreciate the level of care, training and love he has received from his handler, Steven Casey.”